Padraig Harrington admitted yesterday he is in a race against time to have his game in good shape to win a third successive Open title at Turnberry in a fortnight.
"If I'm going to play well in The Open it's got to start now – I'm running out of time," said Harrington on the eve of the French Open near Paris.
The Dubliner has missed his last four halfway cuts – and five of the last six – during a nightmare run after deciding to make swing changes despite his back-to-back major wins last season. But he added: "I'm always optimistic and I still believe I am going to be ready. But, then again, I thought I would be ready for the US Open."
That was Harrington's last tournament and he had two rounds of 76 at Bethpage to crash out by eight shots. Because of his triumphs at Carnoustie, Birkdale and Oakland Hills, Harrington still finds himself joint-second favourite – behind Tiger Woods – for Turnberry. But it is a demonstration of where he is right now that he is only joint-fourth favourite for this week at Le Golf National behind Ian Poulter, runner-up to him last July, Lee Westwood and Soren Hansen.